• Public Interest City-TLD Definition

last modified November 9, 2010 by tomlowenhaupt

An initial step in establishing a list of cities interested in developing TLDs as public interest resources requires a definition. This page looks to define a Public Interest City-TLD.


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Draft definition of Public Interest City-TLDs

For Discussion, as of November 4, 2010

Cities are frequently ancient and always complex institutions that provide basic food, housing, health, safety, and cultural needs for more than half of humankind. They can best serve their residents and organizations if they have access to the most advanced technology. Until now cities have been prohibited from effectively using good Internet Domain Names, requiring residents and organizations to use national or global TLDs for local communication. The ICANN's 2008 new TLD policy opened the door for the issuance of city-TLDs.

The development of city-TLDs as public interest resources will be transformational, providing cities with a Critical Internet Resource, and empowering them to develop their digital infrastructure to the direct benefit of residents and organizations.

The utility of a list of cities seeking the development of public interest TLDs was expressed at the recent IGF Vilnius workshop on City-TLD Governance and Best Practices, where the ICANN's chair suggested that a cities list would facilitate ICANN's operation. The creation of a definition of a Public Interest City-TLD is a first step in developing such a list, with outreach to identify interested cities a next step.

Definition: Public Interest city-TLDs are those which serve the long term interests of city residents and organizations. They serve those interests when:

  • they use the name-space to facilitate geographic awareness enabling residents and organizations to readily locate one another to optimize the exchange of services, products, and ideas and revivify the traditional networking role of cities;

  • they facilitate the availability of civic collaboration tools – calendars, maps, mail lists, polling, and other organizing tools – making them available for civic benefit on a public access basis;

  • they reserve and advocate for the use of domain names for unbiased portals for government, civic, and development use;

  • they commit a significant portion of their resources to eradicating digital divides by facilitating civic collaboration, education, and training;

  • they allocate names for the civic benefit of geographic sub areas (neighborhoods), civic activities, and public issue resolution;

  • they provide names in support of all ethnic populations;

  • they strive for name allocation practices that will maintain a flow of good domain names for the life of the TLD;

  • they establish allocation policies that avoid pitfalls such as hoarding and typo-squatting using pricing and nexus requirements.

Additionally, public interest city-TLDs are those that:

  • are operated in close cooperation with the extant local institutions, to provide a secure experience suitable for residents, civic, cultural and business organizations, and visitors;

  • exchange experiences and best practices with other cities operating TLDs in the public interest;

  • operate within a broad "urbanismo" framework that considers their geographic, economic, political, social, and cultural impact on their environment;

  • commit to develop appropriate channels for inter-city sharing of vital Internet enabled city resources in areas such as education, health, safety, and sanitation;

  • commit to working in collaboration with relevant local and national public authorities;

  • commit to engaging all segments of the population in the management of their TLDs;

  • commit to the allocation of name spaces that promote sustainable cities;

  • commit to the use of graphic design practices that facilitate cross cultural understanding;

  • commit to support their city’s branding and external promotion activities;

  • commit to engage all segments of the population and the technical operators of the TLD in a collaborative governance structure.

IGF and Workshop Links

Key .nyc Pages